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Violence in the West Midlands has followed the national trend and has risen consistently for a number of years. It’s led to an increased fear of crime, a rise in the mental and physical injuries suffered by members of our community and many preventable deaths.

Violence is complex and multi-layered. Tackling the root causes is not straightforward. That’s why in October 2019 the PCC built on the work of the Violence Prevention Alliance and the Gangs and Violence Commission by launching the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit. An acknowledgement that simply making more arrests on the streets would not solve our problems.

With funding from the Home Office totalling £3.37 million the VRU brings together a specialist new team from local government, health, education, police, and criminal justice to work alongside partner organisations and communities to reduce serious violence. 

The VRU adopts a public health approach to violence. This means thinking about violence in the same way that doctors consider the spread of diseases.  It means focusing on understanding the root causes of the problem and on testing, evaluating and upscaling interventions.  Developing stronger data and analysis about the problem is one of the ways we’re approaching our work.

For more information, visit the VRU website.